Art, Armour and Antiques Protection at Warwick Castle

The Company

 Merlin Entertainments is the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe. Merlin runs 110 attractions in 23 countries across four continents, with annual visitor numbers exceeding 60 million. Among the most popular is Warwick Castle – a mediaeval castle in the United Kingdom that operates as an interactive entertainment venue. The castle blends 1,100 years of history with modern attractions, special effects and activities that are both educational and entertaining. Merlin Entertainment has taken a great effort to preserve the Castle’s interior, with large numbers of original suits of armour, armaments, helmets, high prole paintings, sculptures, silverware, ceramics, furnishings and fittings throughout.

Business Challenge

With tens of thousands of visitors through its doors each year, many of whom are children and opportunist thieves, Warwick Castle needed a system that could invisibly protect a wide variety of items, without damaging them or the surrounding interiors.

  • The building is listed and therefore protected both inside and out.
  • Walls are extremely thick meaning cables may not be pulled at room level.
  • Important to avoid false negatives and be able to co-exist with parties, school trips and raucous large groups.
  • The system must alert floor level wardens/tour guides and security personnel simultaneously.
  • The system must be able to protect objects of all shapes, sizes and materials – including metal –   without damaging them.
  • The system must be able to expand and adapt to future shows and area development.

The Solution

Fortecho Solutions installed their RFID system in all key areas with centralised monitoring supported by pagers, local alarms and third-party alarm integration.

  • Specialist ‘on-metal’ IS-TGA tags secured helmets, breastplates, swords and the rest of the metal objects.
  • A variety of hidden sensors were fitted safely onto, or inside vulnerable artefacts and paintings.
  • Localised alarm sounders installed in each room – in the event of a visitor touching an object, gallery sounders alert local staff members.
  • Pager module added to the system; relevant personnel equipped with pagers are given real-time detailed alarm information within 2km range of the castle.
  • Reader network distributed in the back-of-house areas above the targeted rooms giving excellent penetration through the fortified building structure.
 

ROI

Customer Comments

Suits of armour, weapons, ceramics, paintings… there are hundreds of valuable items, vulnerable to theft and damage by visitors. The Fortecho system invisibly protects it all, facilitating immediate analysis and response in the event of an emergency

Liam Bartlett, Head of Guest Operations, Warwick Castle / Merlin Entertainment